One of the country’s oldest clubs – Uxbridge FC, have made some big changes this season by upgrading their home ground of Honeycroft from a grass to first class 3G pitch. We catch up with Club Chairman Mark Bantock about how the grant helped towards making Honeycroft one of the most premium football facilities in the area.
Uxbridge FC were founded in 1871 – and 153 years later, can now boast one of the finest football facilities in the local area. Having first moved to Honeycroft in 1978, the changes from a grass to FIFA grade 3G pitch was not a decision to be taken lightly but after consultation with the committee and members, the club decided to make the upgrades in 2023.
Partly funded by former Treasurer David Tucker, who sadly passed away in 2022, the club were also successful in being awarded a grant from The Premier League Stadium Fund. Wholly funded by the Premier League and delivered by the Football Foundation, the Premier League Stadium Fund is the largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower-league football grounds in the country.
Now operating in the Isthmian League South Central Division, Uxbridge can guarantee that none of their matches will be called off due to issues with the playing surface which can often play havoc with fixture scheduling throughout the season. They are also able to offer playing facilities throughout the week and across weekends so are proud to have clubs the likes of Brentford FC, Chelsea FC and Langley FC who use the ground on regular occasions.
With such a fabulous pitch now available, the club are keen to offer more bookings to local community groups who may wish to host Disability or Walking football opportunities during mid-week periods to help them become a real hub of the community.
Middlesex FA went along for a chat with club chairman Mark Bantock
to find out more and unveil the first-ever MFA perimeter advertising board that now proudly sits pitchside in support of one of our senior clubs as part of our new commercial outreach strategy.
Mark gave us an insight into the background of how the redevelopment came about: “With the sad passing of David, it was his wish that money went back into the club that he loved so we pushed ahead with the plans he had instigated. Thanks to a £150,000 grant from the Premier League, the first spade went in the ground on 10th July 2023.”
He continues: “After a lot of hard work, we were delighted to host our first home match on the magnificent new pitch on 15th October 2023. Both the players and management love the surface and it is conducive with a passing style of football that fans can enjoy – along with the upgrades to the clubhouse and stands that were a big part of the development too. The investment in the facilities forms part of our long term plans to improve on and off the pitch so are confident that Uxbridge FC will go from strength to strength now we have such a wonderful home to play both our games and host other users of the facilities.”
Our very own Lawrence Picking, Facilities and Investment Officer, added:
“This development at Uxbridge FC is a fantastic opportunity for the club to thrive and provide both a reliable training and matchday surface for their teams plus other grassroots clubs in their local community. The state-of-the-art investment has the potential to be used by a generations-worth of players from all backgrounds and be a fine example of football for all. It is a proud moment for all those involved and I look forward to visiting at our Senior Challenge Cup final in a few weeks time.”
The work at Honeycroft is still going on, with final touches being completed all the time – the players walk out tunnel is the latest part of the ground to be upgraded so there’s more to come down at Uxbridge FC which only adds to the excitement for all connected with the club.
As part of the support Middlesex FA want give their affiliated clubs, a new perimeter advertising board has now been installed and we are delighted to announce that our most prestigious competition, the Senior Challenge Cup Final, will be hosted at Honeycroft on Wednesday 17th April
which promises to be a fantastic event with a bumper crowd expected.
Chairman Mark was equally enthusiastic: “We love hosting cup final events and the Senior Challenge Cup is the highest profile and historic the county have which is close to our hearts at Uxbridge having won the competition four times ourselves – most recently in 2001. We have put so much hard work into making our home a place that others want to come and enjoy so really appreciate the support that we have received from The Football Foundation and Middlesex FA to get us to this stage in our development.”
To watch a full interview with Mark about the club’s progress and future plans, CLICK HERE
For more information around what grants Middlesex clubs can access, CLICK HERE
To find out more about the Premier League Stadium Fund, visit their website.